Missouri transfer Michael Dixon has been cleared by the NCAA to play immediately at Memphis this season.
The news was first reported by Gary Parrish of CBSSports.com.
Dixon was suspended from Missouri for all of the 2012-2013 season, eventually being dismissed from the program and leaving school in November, after he was accused of sexual assault for a second time.
Dixon played three season at Missouri before sitting out what should have been his senior year, but he needed a waiver from the NCAA because he did not spend a year in residency at Memphis. Since the 2013-2014 season will be the final year in Dixon’s five-year window to use his four seasons of eligibility, not playing this season would have meant the end of his college basketball career.
With Dixon in the fold, Memphis will have one of the most loaded back courts in the country, one that will use four-guard lineups featuring Dixon, Joe Jackson, Geron Johnson and Chris Crawford quite often. (We went over what that means for Memphis in depth in this post.) Dixon’s defensive tenacity, ability to run the point and on-court leadership will be important for a Memphis team that has underachieved in recent seasons.
The bigger question, however, is whether or not it’s right for the NCAA to allow a kid that was booted from school for a pair of alleged sexual assaults to get a waiver. On the one hand, Dixon, like Dez Wells before him, was never charged in either case. But unlike Wells, Dixon didn’t have DA’s and prosecutors publicly supporting him and criticizing the university. Instead, he had Missouri’s AD “shredding” him to other AD’s.
Whatever the case, the argument is moot now.
Dixon will be allowed to play this season for the Tigers. He was the 2012 Defensive Player of the Year in the Big 12 and averaged 13.3 points and 3.5 assists for a team that won 30 games and was a No. 2 seed in the tournament. He can really, really play.
That makes Memphis a better basketball team, and a bigger threat to UConn and Louisville in the AAC.
— Geron Johnson (@G_Johnson55) September 4, 2013